Neal Schon’s relationship with Steve Perry over the past two decades reminds me of the great Journey hit, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).” It was time to close that gap.
That happened April 7 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.. Schon arrived with current Journey bandmates and fellow inductees Ross Valory (bass), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Steve Smith (drums) and Arnel Pineda (vocals). Former members Gregg Rolie (keyboards) and Aynsley Dunbar (drums) and, of course, the great vocalist Perry also joined.
Speculation about whether Perry would attend the induction ceremony was rampant on social media.
“You know, I didn’t even know he was going to be backstage. When I found out where he was, my wife (Michaele) and I knocked on the door and a bunch of people came out,” Schon recalled Wednesday during an unveiling of Journey memorabilia at Hard Rock Hotel, where the band is scheduled to perform nine shows at the Joint through May 20. “About 30 seconds later he walked up with this big smile, we had this big embrace, and it was very genuine and very moving to me.”
Schon, who had been trying to reach Perry for years, said to his former bandmate, “I just brush off my shoulder whatever we have done to one another. We’re grown men here. Let’s enjoy what we have done. We have accomplished so much.”
Schon has been a professional guitarist since age 15, when he was a firebrand protégé of Carlos Santana. “I have been doing the exact same thing for all these years, and it’s been relatively mellow, you know?” he said. He’s lived in Northern California since he was 15, and bought his first house at 17. “Nobody bothers me,” he said. “But now, ever since (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honor), it’s nonstop. It’s crazy, more than I thought it’d be.”
The return trip to Vegas is a welcome change of pace, Schon says. “I can just unpack my bags, and play guitar. This is a great gig for us.”
‘Imaginarium’ hits Trop
David Goldrake, with his “Imaginarium” magic spectacular, is moving into the Tropicana Theater this summer.
Goldrake, who hails from Luxembourg, “will allow guests to lose all sense of reality, creating a surreal scene caught somewhere between reality and a dreamlike world full of dreams and fantasies,” according to a statement. There will also be “3-D mapping technology.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be setting up my first residency in Las Vegas in the heart of The Strip,” the illusionist says.
“Imaginarium” is the second attempt at Tropicana Theater to find a magic show to replace the Jan Rouven’s “New Illusions” production after the headliner was arrested on child pornography charges in March 2016. Last fall, “Band of Magicians” attempted to break through at the Trop, but closed after a five-week run.
Hard rock at Harrah’s
The tireless Tenors of Rock are more rock and less boogie these days. The Harrah’s Showroom headliners have split with their dance team, Little Miss Nasty, now reportedly on tour. Apparently the crowd at Harrah’s, or at least those who chime in on social media sites, have indicated a preference for more music and less gyrating. A cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” has been added to the set list.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.